Speedy disposal of Cases against MP’s and MLA’s: Supreme Court issued guidelines

 Speedy disposal of Cases against MP’s and MLA’s: Supreme Court issued guidelines

Speedy disposal of Cases against MP’s and MLA’s: Supreme Court issued guidelines


Recently, the important guidelines issued by the Supreme Court related to fast disposal of criminal cases against the Member of Parliament (MPs) and Member of Legislative Assemblies (MLAs). These guidelines given by a three judge bench on 9th November headed by Chief Justice of India, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud to the Chief Justices of High Courts to prioritize these cases and for the speedy disposal, set up special benches to monitor these cases.

These directions came while the hearing of a PIL filed by advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay in 2016.

Background of the Case:

In 2016, a plea was filed by Advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay where he sought, 

1- Speedy disposal of criminal cases against MPs and MLAs and

2- He sought a complete ban on convicted politicians from contesting the elections rather than to what is laid down on under Section 8(3) of the Representation of Peoples act 1951. 

What is the Law:

The representation of the Peoples Act came in 1951, it was introduced by the then law minister of India Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. This act was enacted under the Article 327 of the Indian Constitution to provide the conduct of election of house of parliament and the legislative assemblies of each state and it also decides the qualifications and disqualifications for the membership of these houses.

The Act specifies the conditions and disqualifications required to become a voter and the qualifications and disqualifications for candidates to the Lok Sabha and State Legislatures. Its purpose is to ensure that persons representing the people need to fulfil certain conditions and should be free from disqualifications.

Section 8 basically talks about the disqualification on what grounds a member of parliament or member of legislative assembly can be disqualified, it is considers to be an important section which was added by the lawmakers.

Section 8(3) of Representation of People Act 1951, says that a person who is convicted for an offence of promoting enmity between different groups, bribery, offence of undue influence or personation at election, offences related to rape, offences of trade of prohibited or illegal goods, etc. and if sentenced to jail for not less than two years, shall be disqualified from the date of conviction. The disqualified member then will not be able to contest in the elections for the period of 6 years.

So this is what the law tell us, but the petitioner files for the lifetime ban on the disqualified individuals rather than 6 years which is laid down in section 8(3) of this act.

Analysis of the Situation:

Actually as we know that a country is run by the lawmakers of that nation who basically made the laws and policies of the country, so we can say that Parliament and the Legislative assemblies of each state is a of place of worship where an individual can come only with the clean hands because he/she has the power of making laws for the whole nation, their one decision can harm badly the whole nation itself.

So, from the above explanation we can clearly find out that if a person who is convicted of any crime defined in the Representation of peoples act, 1951, is not suitable to handling the position of a lawmaker because if he/she himself/herself is convicted for a crime then how can he/she will able to make laws for the Nation, even this is dangerous to the future of any country.

That’s why our lawmakers in 1951 with this thought, included certain important provisions in the Representation of Peoples Act, 1951 related to Qualification and Disqualification of the candidates contested in the elections.

But, one problem is continued till now and this the problem of slow trials which are continued to the years and years, and because of that criminals got easily contested the elections because of the delays in the decision. This is a big loophole in the political system and which affects a lot to our nation too. According to different reports and surveys, lots of lawmakers are accused of different crimes and even trials are going on them but because of the slowness of our legal system and delay in the decision made them free to do anything which ultimately affects the nation at all.

This loophole was seen by Advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, that made him to file the petition for the speedy trials against MPs and MLAs.


  • According to the latest report of the Amicus Curiae of November, 2022 more than 5,000 Cases are pending against the MPs and MLAs, across the Country in which they are accused.
  • Also more than 2,000 cases out these above cases, which is something around 40 percent of the total, has been pending for more than past five years. These numbers are rising day by day.
  • According to various reports, more than 40 percent of sitting MPs are accused of the criminal cases against them, plus 25 percent of the legislators are accused of crimes including kidnapping, murder, crimes against women, etc.

So it is the situation of our Nation and the failure of our legal system and Indian Courts who continuously failing to address that problem of lacking Speedy trials. That’s why now the Supreme Court came with the guidelines while the hearing of this case which we will discuss further.

Judgement of the Court:

The Guideline given by Supreme Court for the early disposal of Pending Cases against the MPs and MLAs are:

  • Chief Justices of various High Courts can registered Suo Motu cases across the Nation to monitor the pending criminal cases against the Lawmakers for quick disposal and these cases can be heard by the special bench which must be led by Chief Justice of that particular High Court.
  • Hearing at the regular intervals, if necessary.
  • Advocate general of that state can be called by the Special bench to assist the Court.
  • Cases against the Lawmakers which are related to death penalty or life imprisonment shall be given priority followed by the cases Punishable with five years or more.
  • The High Courts can also direct the Lower Courts to send the reports on timely intervals.
  • Also the apex court said that without any Compelling reasons, Trial courts cannot adjourn the cases.
  • Along with this Supreme Court said that it would not be easy to lay down the Uniform Guidelines to the Trial Courts, that’s why the Apex Court left it on the High Courts to issue guidelines for trial or lower courts accordingly for the Speedy trials. 
  • Further the Apex Court also said that Principal District and Session Judges can be called by High Courts to take on the responsibility of allocating those subject cases to such Courts.
  • Infrastructure facilities including technology should be ensured to these courts by the District and Session Judges for the effectiveness in working.
  • Also, Supreme Court directed the High Courts to create ‘Independent Tab’ on their respected websites for the district wise information regarding to such cases.

So, these were the Guidelines on Speedy trials of pending cases against the lawmakers.

What Court ruled on the Complete Ban of Convicted Politicians issue?

According to the Plea filed by Advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay in 2016, he also sought a ‘Complete Ban’ or ‘lifetime ban’ on the convicted politicians rather than the provision of only 6 years ban which is laid down in Representation of Peoples Act, 1951. So currently the Court didn’t give any particular decision on that but it kept open the issue of replacing the 6 year ban into Complete lifetime ban.

What did Judges said while giving these Guidelines:

Actually the thing is what opinions and remarks the Judges made is also matters a lot during the hearings because it clears the thing that what our Judiciary is thinking about that issue, and by analysing this we can foresee the future Judgements on that issue

So, The bench consists of Justice Manoj Mishra and Justice PS Narasimha, headed by Chief Justice of India, D.Y. Chandrachud emphasised on two things,

  • First is that “Confidence and trust of the Constituency in their political representative” is necessary for an effective functioning of the Democracy and,
  • Second they majorly emphasised on the impact of such cases on our ‘Political Democracy’, the court also said that ‘Every effort should be made to take them up on priority and decide them as fast as possible’.

So, according to the remarks made by the court on this issue while hearing, it is quite clear that court is concerned about this issue and this is a possibility that in future our Parliament can came up with the particular law on that matter along with we can also see any strict decision on the lifetime ban issue on the convicted politicians.


According to the deep analysis of the matter, we can conclude that Speedy trials of the criminal cases against lawmakers is an alarming need of today, but also we can see an irony here that the plea was filed in 2016 and the guidelines came in November 2023 which is itself proved the slowness of our legal system, So the suggestion from the author is that Supreme Court should made strict guidelines on the speedy trials of not only the cases against the Lawmakers but for all.

But yet, till then this a very reformative step of Supreme Court, we have to appraise it and also hope that it will help the Country to a great extent.


  1. Indiacode – Disqualification on conviction for certain offences
  1. Indian Express Article on Speedy disposal of Cases against lawmakers Guidelines 
  1. Indian Express Article on Supreme Courts directions to High Courts
  1. Article by Livemint.com -Supreme Court Directs High Courts to fast track trials against MPs, MLAs
  1. Article on Speedy Disposal of Cases against lawmakers- Vajiram ias
  1. Representation of the People Act, 1951- Wikipedia


Divyanshu Dubey, a 1st year student of Maharashtra National Law University, Aurangabad.

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